NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A team of three out-of-work stem cell biologists announced Monday that, after four weeks of rigorous observation and field testing, the evidence conclusively shows that chief researcher Dr. Henry Rogers' dog Franklin likes beer.
"We're extremely pleased with the results of the experiment," Rogers said. "It exceeded our highest expectations, and we're confident that our findings will have far-reaching implications for the coming weekend."
According to the team's report, Rogers, along with colleagues Dr. Tom McCarthy and Dr. Simon Huang, formulated a hypothesis that Franklin, a purebred boxer, would drink beer poured into his water dish.
After scouring through couch cushions to secure funding for an initial test, the first round of experiments began in late February. Franklin was administered a sampling of six economy-priced beer brands in 12-ounce increments at the rate of one unit every 1.5 hours over several successive Saturdays. His tail-wagging, equilibrium, speed of consumption, and general playfulness were monitored throughout for variations from baseline norms.
While the scientists said the neutered 5-year-old subject showed no clear preference for any one brand, Franklin tended to lap up Presidente beer at the fastest rate, followed by Rolling Rock, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Milwaukee's Best, and lastly, Icehouse.
"Due to our limited resources, we were only able to obtain cases of the most inexpensive test materials," Huang said.
The team recently managed to secure a New Jersey state research subsidy of $2.55 by returning the empties.
McCarthy provided his Shar-Pei, Wrinkles, to serve as a control. Wrinkles was only given water to drink, though the team had to scrap one set of data due to confounding variables introduced when the control subject consumed 7.35 ounces of beer when the scientists' backs were turned.
Despite this setback, Rogers said that the team's data revealed a consistent correlation between increased quantity of beer intake and erratic behavior, though the intensity seemed to decrease with each subsequent day of testing.
By the end of the study, the 65-pound canine had built up a tolerance to alcohol that reportedly rivaled that of his human overseers. The test subject did, however, have a tendency to vomit if he chased a tennis ball or took a car ride too soon after a study trial.
Franklin's interest in beer did not appear to be entirely taste-based. Over time, the subject's interest in non-alcoholic O'Douls declined as he learned to associate the brand's slightly flavorless taste with a lack of physiological effects.
A peer review conducted by recently laid-off Rutgers University chemist Dr. Harold Wilson, a respected associate of the three scientists, supports their findings.
"After carefully scrutinizing the data and witnessing a replication of the experiment at Dr. Rogers' house, I am confident that these findings are solid," Wilson said. "That dog loves beer."
Rogers and his team said they will continue their work in the burgeoning field of dog–beverage interaction.
"Our research raises tantalizing questions and opens the door to new areas of scientific inquiry," Rogers said. "Does Franklin like mixed drinks? Cordials, such as Kahlúa? It's all very, very exciting."
In addition to the ongoing study, Rogers said that the researchers have outlined a future experiment to study the effects of Cannabis sativa on Huang's cat, Schrödinger.